Once again the press in Canada has twisted a story beyond all recognition to shock and outrage people, and create problems for those that have to deal with the real world. I'm talking about the cover story on the National Post today, written in one inch letters, "Study Links Vaccine to Autism" (story not online). Despite the title, if you delve into the article you will find the 'study' they refer to actually makes no link made between autism and vaccines, it only demonstrates (in a test tube) that a preservative used in vaccines can affect a process in the brain called methylation. There is no comparison in rates of autism between children who have and who haven't received the vaccines, there is no evidence given that this preservative ever reaches the brain, and there is no explanation given as to why this supposed side effect is so selective.
There is a large and well-organized anti-science movement that has worked diligently at placing doubt in the minds of many parents as to the safety of vaccinations. My wife is a family doctor and deals regularly with patients who have been frightened by this propaganda. She reminds them that the diseases that vaccines prevent are very dangerous, causing blindness, mental retardation and death. Some still prefer to raise their child 'naturally' and skip the needle. The type of story in the Post gives more power to the doubters and will convince more parents to do the same.